Low Frustration Tolerance

Low frustration tolerance is the idea that when things become difficult or uncomfortable that they are somehow ‘intolerable’.

The problem with this thinking error is that you are less likely to tolerate discomfort even if by doing so you would obtain a benefit in the future.

The more you ‘tell yourself’ that you can’t cope or that things are ‘getting on top of you’, the less likely you are engage with those situations.

low frustration tolerance problems - man unable to cope with work demands

Examples of Low Frustration Tolerance

You frequently procrastinate about completing work or college assignments thinking to yourself, ‘It’s too much hassle, I’ll just do it later when I’m more in the mood’.

You tend to wait until the deadline is fast approaching and it becomes too uncomfortable to put off any longer. Unfortunately this means that you ultimately put less time and effort into doing a good job and increase your own stress levels at the same time!

You are determined to overcome your Anxiety about travelling too far from home by going out and facing your fear directly.

However, each time you travel a little bit further away you become anxious and think to yourself, ‘This is really too horrible to bear’ and you rush home as quickly as you can. Unfortunately this reinforces your fear rather than providing you with evidence that you can travel away from home perfectly safely.

Develop High Frustration Tolerance

The best way to beat a low frustration tolerance is to develop a new attitude that you CAN tolerate these frustration and feelings. This can be achieved by:

Push Yourself To Do the Uncomfortable Things

Try to develop the habit of starting work or college assignments within a few days of receiving them even if you really aren’t in the mood, You will find that the benefits of finishing the work in good time provides you with more satisfaction than the benefits of putting them off.

Remind Yourself That You CAN Cope

It’s far too easy to convince yourself that you can’t cope by simply telling yourself you can’t cope over and over again. Try to manage your thinking a bit more and tell yourself that even though Anxiety can be an uncomfortable feeling that you have survived those feelings many times before and that you can definitely do it again.

The problem with telling yourself that you can’t tolerate uncomfortable feelings is that it (1) makes you focus your attention exclusively on your discomfort and (2) leads to you underestimating your real ability to cope.

Believing you can’t cope just makes things seem a lot worse than they really are!

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Using our online learning platform, it is available with 2, 5 or 10 sessions of clinical support either face-to-face in the Wombourne offices, or using Zoom video facilities.

It can also be taken as a self help CBT course that will teach you the fundamental tools and techniques used throughout the mental health profession.


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